No, seriously - the worst thing about this Disney deal is gonna be the jokes.

*Needless to say, you're perfectly safe here.


Odd Manga (just that; a list of odd manga)

At Bookforum.

*Vital Downloads Dept: It's not every day someone posts a 291-page ebook compilation of interviews with a wide range of comics talents (and talents-about-comics) culled from a full 21st century of work thus far. But today, as luck would have it, is that day: Conversations with ADD: The Comics Interviews of Alan David Doane. Just look at that lineup. Don't hesitate.

*A lot of lookers -


Achewood Vol. 2: Worst Song, Played on Ugliest Guitar: Say, have you heard of Achewood? Of course you have - Chris Onstad's creation is one of maybe half a dozen webcomics that almost everybody has heard of, whether they pay attention to webcomics or not. It simply cannot be ignored, and will probably go down in history as one of the defining alternative comics of the first decade of the 21st century, paper or no paper. And now, here in that most specific twilight, Dark Horse has brought paper, enough to convert what used to be a collection of a particular storyline (2007's vol. 1, The Great Outdoor Fight) into a full-scale comprehensive reprint effort, annotated and pondered, with all alt-texts included. It's a $14.95 hardcover, 136 pages; samples.

Strange Tales #1 (of 3): Finally, Marvel's "indie" anthology shows up. Aside from serializing Peter Bagge's long-buried The Incorrigible Hulk (a zany movie-tie in comic apparently deemed a bit across-the-line zany, in spite of Bagge's well-liked Spider-Man comic of the same type, which preceded it) across all three issues, short stories and gags will basically abound. The crew of this virgin issue should include Paul Pope, Molly Crabapple & John Leavitt, Junko Mizuno, Dash Shaw, James Kochalka, Johnny Ryan, Michael Kupperman, Nick Bertozzi, Nicholas Gurewich and Jason. Yep. A few pages are here; it's $4.99.

Stitches: A Memoir: Your big ol' book publisher literary funnybook item for 9/2/09, a 336-page autobiographical work from magazine illustrator and children's storybook artist David Small that's been picking up some heavy-duty praise, with the likes of Robert Crumb, Françoise Mouly, Jules Feiffer and Stan Lee weighing in (and when's the last time R. Crumb and Smilin' Stan agreed on anything?). I am told it's an intense, heavily visual account of dire illness, medical hubris, bodily confinement and desperate escape. Much more at the official home page; it's a $24.95 hardcover from W.W. Norton.

Cat Burglar Black: Richard Sala, breakin' and enterin'. All I have to say. From First Second; 128 color pages for $16.99. Preview here; revealing essay by the author here.

Dan Brereton's Nocturnals Vol. 2: The Dark Forever and Other Tales: Oooh, some people are gonna put this one right up top, although I suspect others won't have a clue what this thing is. That's not too surprising; the Nocturnals may have been around for 15 years now, but its habit of bouncing from publisher to publisher and the necessarily slow pace of creator Brereton's painted production has probably obscured its status as an eminently likable post-Hellboy genre-bending monster mash, tossing together mystery and adventure and horror and a whole family of misfit creatures of varied forms. It also helps that Brereton is as much a cartoonist as a painter, which livens up those pages nicely. This is the second hardcover collection of the complete works, now from Image (vol. 1, Black Planet and Other Tales was released by Olympian Publishing in 2006), covering what should be the entirely of the title's early 21st century stay at Oni Press, including the side-story miniseries The Gunwitch (written by Brereton with art by Ted Naifeh of Courtney Crumrin) and many goodies. It's $34.99 for 280 pages, or $39.99 for the Previews Exclusive edition, which tosses in another 16 pages of stuff. Introduction by Howard Chaykin (Brereton's writer on the '60s-set Batman Elseworlds Thrillkiller); samples here.

The Lords of Misrule: More horror! More more! I haven't read a page of this project, which started out as a Tundra one-off illustrated by Gary Erskine in the early '90s then spread out into a Peter Snejbjerg-drawn Dark Horse miniseries later on, written by John Tomilson, Dan Abnett and Steve White. Contains urban legends (I think), weird murders (I trust) and many other things (I hope). Just mentioning it since I like the artists and Radical Publishing seems to have allowed for some re-drawing and new coloring on its way to a 264-page hardcover finality. It's $24.95.

Absolute V for Vendetta: Just in case every other edition doesn't seem to fit, here's a somewhat larger one with a slipcase and a $99.00 price tag. And the remastered coloring from the most recent (smaller) editions. Boy, remember when these things had a stack of bonuses with them, like scripts and such? Or was that only ever The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vols. 1 & 2?

Starr the Slayer #1 (of 4): Holy sweet goddamn, a MAX-rated Richard Corben barbarian comic! Is there some kinda four-issue rule in place for these $3.99 'adult' throwback projects at Marvel (see also: Dominic Fortune)? This one seems especially self-reflexive, with Daniel Way's plot concerning a burnt-out hack novelist who returns to the well of musclebound sword-swinging, only to have his greatest creation confront him personally. Absolutely worth flipping through; here's a look.

Marvel Zombies Return: Spider-Man #1: And this one's got Nick Dragotta (of many Mike Allred collaborations). You can probably have a good time at the store this week just paging through the new releases rack. If anyone catches you, just tell them you're pondering the financial implications of the Marvel deal, and only proximity to the undead can clear your mind.

Fall Out Toy Works #1 (of 5): Being the $3.99 Image debut of the Fall Out Boy comic, or at least a comic about a robot developer and his flawed feminine masterwork who learn the secrets of life and shit as inspired by the music of Fall Out Boy, co-created by bassist/vocalist Pete Wentz and miscellaneous designer Darren Romanelli, although the actual scripting looks to be done by no less than Brett Lewis - yes, of The Winter Men (collected softcover coming this November!). That's what'll get me poking through this, at least, having never heard a Fall Out Boy song on purpose. The art is headed by Sam Basri, of the Singapore-based illustration & design house Imaginary Friends Studios, other members of which also look to be providing collective visual support. Preview.

Sweet Tooth #1: New from Vertigo, an ongoing series from writer/artist Jeff Lemire about a part-boy part-deer who wanders a disease-tainted landscape with a questionable hulk of a companion in search of sanctuary. I didn't think all that much of Lemire's last Vertigo project, The Nobody, but this kind of semi-surreal bucolic wander might play better to his strengths. As with many recent Vertigo debuts, the price is $1.00; preview here.

From the Ashes #4 (of 6): More from Bob Fingerman, and the end of the world.

I Am Legion #5 (of 6): Huh, looks like John Cassaday might be finishing up two art projects in English at the same time. This is his French side, brought to you by DDP/Humanoids.

The Boys #34: Concluding the one where the superheroes really start to fight back with the Nazi guy just burning the shit out of everything. First round guest artist Carlos Ezquerra returns to do the honors; take a peek.

Batman Confidential #33: Featuring the talents of Peter Milligan, lest we forget, with some attention-getting art by Andy Clarke. Also this week: Milligan's Greek Street #3.

Rawbone #4 (of 4): Yes, it's a regular old-timey Vertigo writers hoedown this week, with Avatar escorting Jamie Delano and his merry pirate crew. It's exactly like Disney's.

Witchfinder: In the Service of Angels #3 (of 5): Hmm, Mike Mignola actually did work on a Disney picture for a while (Atlantis: The Lost Empire, production designer), but now he's got an empire of his own to run. Like so. But if it's Mignola's drawing you're hungry for (and you don't entirely mind if it's presented in an arguably inappropriate context, or, like me, you find it interesting for being so inappropriately placed), DC is totally reprinting Cosmic Odyssey this week.

Walt Disney Presents: Incognito #6 (of 6): Now you see that? Is that funny? No. It's lazy, easy humor, indicative of a writer that needs to go to bed very soon. I mean, who thinks this is comedy? Sheesh. Anyway, this is the final issue Ed Brubaker's & Sean Phillips' supervillain pulp series, after which they return to their earlier, larger ongoing series, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Criminal.

Wednesday Comics #9 (of 12): I liked editor Mark Chiarello's little between-the-lines "yeah, all the art's in, we're bringing it down on time" fist pump the other week. That was cool.

Young Liars #18: In which David Lapham puts this Vertigo series to bed for good. Mourners are directed to the Magic Kingdom annex lobby where Lapham is also writing and drawing this week's Mystic Comics 70th Anniversary Special, with back-up material by Jack Kirby. Isn't it a small world, after all?